My Life in Pictures

Bunny was crying and Buddy offered his fingers to suck on.  Sweet boys!

The Nurse's Best Friend

Boogie went off to first grade this week.  My poor baby has been a ball of nerves.  She started tearing up on back to school night because she was so scared about going into first grade.  Broke my heart.  I'm afraid she gets her anxiety from me.

What she does not get from me is her hypochondria.  The poor love has a knack for injury in the first place.  The first day of school she busted her lip open on another student's head.  This is teamed with her flare for the dramatic and her hypochondria. (I should probably make sure WebMD is blocked from all house computers)

Apparently, today she had a "very bad stomach ache"  She told me she almost went to the office for it.  I swear she is going to be "that student"  The one that always has an injury...real or not...and that the office ladies chuckle about. 

When we went down the list of possible reasons she had a stomach ache nothing fit.  Then I asked her what she was doing and she said she was taking a test.  Ding ding ding.  Those pesky nerves again.

It's going to be a long year for the poor office ladies!


My Life in Pictures

When you run out of D batteries big sisters come in very handy

If I had a Million Dollars

I am feeling completely inadequate this week.  I started reading Naturally Better and I am devouring it.  The mom in the book refused to allow her son with down syndrome to have anything but a normal life and researched and researched and got him on supplements, started treatments and did home therapy.  The pictures of her son are amazing.  He looks so healthy and strong.  The book is very inspiring.

....and discouraging.  We don't have thousands of dollars to spend on natural doctors, supplements and treatments.  I don't have every minute of my day to spend working with Bunny.  I have three other children whose lives are just as important.  I have a big house that doesn't clean itself.  I have meals to make.  I have a husband that works long hours.

I honestly spent the first half of the week with my head spinning.  How in the world would I fit it all in?  I know not all parents of children with down syndrome devote as much time and energy into their children but I want to feel like I did as much as I could for him.  I want to give him every advantage I can.

As I sorted my thoughts all week I came to this conclusion:  I know that I was chosen to be his mom.  He was chosen to be in this exact family.  God knew that we are not rich and that I don't have a lot of help.  It will definitely be a stretch for me to first not go overboard and then not to abandon the schedule.  I am going to do as much of the Glenn Doman program that we can reasonably fit it in the areas I think he needs most.  Obviously I can do the things with both boys so even if Buddy may not need the same things he will still enjoy the mommy time.  The girls are DYING to help me and I am going to use them.  I already taught them to do "grasp" exercises with Bunny.

As far as the supplements...I'm not sold on the idea of pumping him with tons of expensive supplements.  I have a few things I believe in and will do or have been doing but I'm just going to have to trust my gut on this one. 

I just love this guy!!


"Wow! You Have Your Hands Full"

I get that a lot.  Especially at the grocery store.  Yes I said the grocery store.  The big scary place I thought I would never be at with all my ducklings in tow.  I seriously spent hours trying to figure out how I would get them all through the grocery store in one piece and with my sanity intact.  I decided early on it would be impossible and that I could only get out when my husband was home.  Except he often comes home very late.  So I had to figure it out and take the plunge.

This is how we do it:
 (Just picture 2 little monkeys hanging on to the sides too)

There are some key phrases that are involved in one of these shopping experiences.  They would be "Keep your hands off the cart",  "Stay next to me please",  and "We are not buying that today".  Those are obviously coming from me.  I hear "Wow!  You sure do have your hands full!", "Oh twins!!" and "You are a busy mama!"  multiple times during each outing.  The attention doesn't bother me too much because I am proud of my kiddos.  As long as I am not getting attention because a baby is crying or one of the girls is throwing a tantrum we are a-ok.

(As a sidenote: Boogie is in charge of remembering which baby sat in front last so they each get equal front time)


My Life in Pictures

These sweet babies think mommy is a talented face painter.  Let's not burst their bubble.

My Life as a Comedy

My husband and I are complete opposites in so many ways.  Yet we have one very similar trait.  We can be a bit psycho.

Not like stalk someone psycho.  More like play video games until 3am in the morning because we just have to beat the level psycho......oh wait that's just me. 

Today my husband heard about the $99 HP Touchpad deal.  He went out this morning looking for it.  We have both wanted a tablet but we really can't afford one right now.  He struck out and came home sad.  I wasn't engaged in the stalking of product at this point and so I went about my day.

After dinner I wanted to see what the big deal was and found it on Slick Deals.  I did a little reasearch and started reading an immensley long forum thread written by true psychos and then reprimanded him for not being psycho enough because we could have had one on the way to us had he paid closer attention to the forum.

We spent the next 3 hours refreshing, on hold and stalking different websites.  We took shifts putting the kids to bed so someone could man the phone.  When the customer service rep finally answered it got a little crazy.  He couldn't figure out how to get the phone off of speaker and yelled for me.  When I came into the office he says "You have to talk to the guy because I can't hear good (and pointed to his ears)".  It made me laugh so hard.  His hearing is fine.  He was in panic mode. The guy probably thought we were nutjobs.

Anyway, we may have his and hers touchpads on their way to us. 

The couple that psycho stalks product together stays together.  Catchy right?

(and no we will not be returning them)


Babester Time

These guys were cracking me up when I was taking these pictures.  I was trying to get a picture of Bunny putting his legs straight in the air but as I was clicking away someone started grunting at me.  Then he posed.  He might have been wearing orange.  (How beautiful is this boy by the way?  He's like baby perfection)

Amazing to have both the boys in a great mood at the same time.  They were cooing and smiling and even giggling.

Buddy showing off his trick.  His legs are finally getting some chub on them!

Bunny prefers to hold his legs straight up and then politely fold his hands.  He spends a lot of the day in this position.  He likes his new trick!

I couldn't resist this shot!  These babesters are complete opposites and so much fun. 

If they are close enough they love to hold hands (or punch, pull hair, scratch....I mostly keep them arm's length away unless I am right there.  Buddy is particularly aggresive/curious)

The boy loves of my life. 


My Life as a Comedy

A shower is a precious commodity to this mama.  The stars have to align just right each day in order for me to feel that it is safe enough for me to leave all 4 children unsupervised for 10 minutes.

This morning Buddy was sleeping, Boogie was cleaning the playroom, Baby was cleaning her room and Bunny was strapped in a chair in my room.  I thought this was my chance.

I was about to soap up my body when the unthinkable happened.  I heard the shrill alert of the home alarm.  Which meant it needed to be turned off quickly or a police man would be knocking on my door and Buddy would be awake.  Oh and a robber might be running off with my children or my tv.

So what did I do?  I jumped out of the shower soaking wet and ran down the slippery stairs to turn off the alarm and find the culprit.  Boogie sheepishly found me naked and dripping and possibly cursing in the alarm room and said she had been trying to go outside to do Baby's chore for her.  How could I be mad?

I reassured her no harm was done as I wiped up the water on the stairs and then found my phone so when the alarm people called  I could tell them there was no emergency.I'm just thankful I was not yet soaped up!

Single and childless people.....savor those long interrupted showers!!!!

My Life in Pictures

I do a lot of laundry!


The Best Sister

To the untrained eye this picture might look like messy hair, bad flash and future chiropractic bills.  To me it looks like a breakthrough.

This has been a challenging summer for us.  The amount of time I need to spend feeding the boys limits the time I have to entertain the girls so they spend a lot of time together.  Most of that time is spent fighting.  It breaks my heart.  I KNOW that sisters fight.  I have a sister.  I thought that the age difference would work for us but so far it has been working against us.  I am desperate to strengthen their relationship so they see the value of their sisterhood.

I have been having heart to hearts with Boogie Bear and trying to appeal to her sensitive side.  I have been having Baby bear go to Boogie bear when she needs help and I have my hands full so she can see the advantages of having an older sister.  I have been pointing out nice gestures, praising the peaceful moments and playing up the "girls team" angle.  Behind closed doors I have been praying for peace, love and friendship.

This week the moments of peace have been longer and this afternoon was an absolute breakthrough.  The girls played together ALL afternoon.  The only shrieks I heard were joyful and there was no tattling.  When they came giggling into the kitchen like this I HAD to take a picture....good lighting or not.  It melted my heart.

Tonight I put the boys to bed and the girls and I had cuddle time.  When I asked for their prayer requests Boogie said "That Baby Bear and I will get along again tomorrow and that we will still be best friends"  I happily prayed that for my girls.  I think we are FINALLY moving in the right direction.

As they left the room Boogie said "Mommy I have the best sister"  and Baby echoed her sentiments.  *sigh*

My Life in Pictures

Who needs a tv when you have big sisters?


Down Syndrome at 5 Months

When we were giving the diagnosis of Down Syndrome in the hospital I really had no idea what our life would look like.  I had heard of Early Intervention but didn't know what it was or how it worked.  I thought it might be helpful to give an update on Bunny Bear by month with where he is at and what therapies he is receiving so that someone looking to that future might understand what things might look like.  It will also be nice for me to look back and see how far he has come.

Bunny Bear has an infant teacher that was designated to us by Early Start.  She comes to our house once a week and does exercises with him and watches his progress.  Right now we are still working on neck control.  He can get his head up and keep it up during tummy time but he still doesn't have full control of it.  His infant teacher just put in a request for Physical Therapy so that we can move toward the next milestones like sitting up.  Because kids with down syndrome have low muscle tone they need exercises to help them strengthen the muscles used to perform these milestones.

This month the only extra doctor/specialist appointment we had was the infant ophthalmologist.  His eyes are tracking MUCH better than they were 8 weeks ago but now one eye is tracking better than the other so we are going back again in 4 weeks to see if things have changed.  If not then he may need glasses (I'm kind of excited about that.  I have never worn glasses so I'm guessing I shouldn't be but how cute would he look?)
To me, he just gets cuter everyday.  He is such a smiley boy and I've even gotten giggles out of him this month.  He now coos and makes more noise too.  I adore him.

Every day I put him on his tummy multiple times.  He most often rolls over but I try!  I also do a baby massage every day and lift him from laying on his back by his hands.  I've ordered a few new books this month:   Gross Motor Skills in Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, How Smart Is Your Baby?: Develop And Nurture Your Newborn's Full Potential, and Naturally Better: Dramatically Improve Your Child's Life Naturally.  I want to learn everything I can to help my son.

Emotionally, I am doing better.  I will still cry if I talk about the birth.  I feel like I got my heart broken and although I don't dwell on the pain all day if I go to that place it is still painful.  I truly believe that God chose Bunny Bear for our family and He has this whole plan for my family that I just can't see and I remind myself of that often.

Time Management

I have only had my sparkly new blog for one day and I am already ignoring my housework. Time management and "living in the gray" is not my specialty. I tend to pour my energy wholeheartedly into my latest obsession.

I'm just getting this out in the open so I can be held accountable to myself. It is WAY more fun for me to be tweaking a banner on my blog than to be sneaking in my 20 minute workout or starting a load of laundry but I know balance is not only necessary for my family but also for my own sanity.

The girls are happily making play-dough cakes and the boys are snoring in their swings and I'm going to sign off and stealthly gather the laundry and workout. An endorphinly balanced mommy is a happy mommy and as far as I know clicking the keys of a keyboard does not endorphins release.

A Chip off the Old Block

In my family, birthdays are a big deal.  Singing phone calls are expected and the night before is the birthday boy or girl's "Eve".  (I came up with that one and everyone happily adopted it. I'm kind of a birthday genius)  

I have always made a big deal of my children's birthdays but last year poor baby bear happened to have the bad luck of having a birthday a few weeks after we moved and right in the middle of my exhausting first trimester.  This year I wanted to make it right.

The day started with her choice of sugar cereal that she picked out on Baby Bear's Eve.  She happened to pick Lucky Charms which is MY favorite chemically laden but delicious cereal.  While I was still sleeping, the girls got out the cereal, poured themselves bowls and then strategically ate every last marshmallow out of the whole box.  I'm sure I would have done the same thing in their position (or when I was 36 weeks pregnant).  I tried not to get too mad.

Baby Bear had a play date yesterday so while she was gone Boogie Bear and I decorated furiously.  The upside to having no money for living room furniture is that you can turn it into a big party room quite easily.  We hung streamers, blew up balloons, wrapped presents, made a picnic area for dinner and set out hats and blowers.  The look on her face when she came home was so cute.  I hope it made up for last year's dud party.
The rest of the day she ran around singing happy birthday to herself and saying "I'm finally 4 years old!"  That she gets from her mother for sure.  Pretty much anyone in a 25 mile radius knows when it's my birthday.  We may have made a joint call to Grandma at some point in the afternoon inquiring why she had not called to sing at us yet.  There are expectations to be met people!!!
We had lots of fun in the party room yesterday.  Bunny bear slept through the good lighting which is why he is not in the pictures.  It makes me teary eyed to think of the loud, joyous parties we will have in the future as the babies get older.  We won't ever need to invite extra people! ha

When daddy got home we had a very fancy quesadilla and strawberry picnic in the party room.  We all told Baby Bear the things we loved about her....her spunk, her willingness to help, her sweetness, etc.  We should all hear nice things about ourselves on our birthday.
 That eye sore of a stuffed animal was her favorite present.  I sent daddy on a mission last week to the toy store so we could get an idea of what she wanted.  She tends to just like whatever Boogie Bear likes but I wanted to get her things for HER.  After halfheartedly pointing out toys that she liked at the store they ended the trip with an errand at Costco where she spotted this bear and daddy said her eyes popped out of her head and she said "THAT"S WHAT I WANT!!!"

I won't get into the whole "why stuffed animals are nothing but a vehicle for lice" theory but needless to say I was not thrilled but Boogie bear insisted that she wanted to get her the bear.  Baby bear was so happy.  I'm going to have a hard time sneaking that one to Goodwill when the time comes!  Not that I would ever do such a thing...
The celebration ended with the perfect cake.  Chocolate and strawbeddies.  My baby's favorite.  I was pretty excited when we spotted that cake since I knew it was my ticket out of the kitchen.  Of course I would have happily made her a cake but it is definitely not my talent.  Look at my girl.  I love her so much!

This morning I overheard her asking "When will it be my birthday again?"  The countdown begins again....